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Major pipe burst triggers water shortages in Beitbridge

By Liz Dlodlo

A major pipe burst on the main supply pipeline has triggered water shortages in Beitbridge’s highly populated western suburbs.

Residents in Wards 4, 5, and 6 are now relying on the few communal boreholes or have to buy from those with private boreholes.

The water problems have also been compounded by the local authority’s failure to construct more storage facilities.

In some areas, especially Mashavire, Alpha House, Shule-Shule and Garikayi houses, sewer blockages have become the order of the day because of the sporadic supply of running water.

“We haven’t had water on our tapes for the past four days. We are buying water from vendors at R5 per bucket. This is a risk but then we have no option,” said a distraught Ms Ndlovu of Alpha houses.

Another resident said they were now relying on purified water from local suppliers although that was not sustainable considering the growing urban poverty.

“Some people are now using nearby bushes as toilets because there have no money to buy a lot of water. This is a health time bomb,” Miss Nyasha Rungano.

A water vendor, Tawanda said he has been making around R500 from selling water to desperate residents.

According to the 2012 population census Beitbridge town had 42 137 people, but the number has been growing each year due to rural to urban migration linked to its proximity to South Africa.

However, a council official speaking on condition of anonymity said, “There was a major pipe burst near Londa Hotel. The pipeline links the main reservoir in the low density and the one at Vhembe which supplies most western suburbs. The problem has been fixed, the residents will be getting water latest tonight.”

Beitbridge Town Clerk, Loud Ramakgapola said the affected areas will start receiving water supplies on Monday.

“The pipe burst was sorted and those are areas are receiving water today (Monday),” he said.

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